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Wednesday, 4 September, 2002, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Councillor targeted in bomb attack
Mark Langhammer, Newtownabbey Labour councillor
Mark Langhammer has been threatened in the past
A device has exploded underneath the car of a County Antrim councillor in what police believe was a loyalist attack.

The incident happened in the Shore Road area of Newtownabbey on Wednesday.

Labour councillor Mark Langhammer was about to take his children to school when he noticed damage to his car.


I have in my role as a councillor been trying to establish a police presence in both the Protestant and Catholic areas of my constituency

Mark Langhammer Labour councillor

Police said it was an improvised device.

A PSNI spokesman said police suspected loyalist paramilitaries were behind the attack.

Chief Constable Hugh Orde condemned the attack.

No-one was injured and a number of items were taken away for examination.

Mr Langhammer was due to launch a police clinic in Rathcoole Estate on Wednesday.

He said his involvement in the project was why he was targeted.

'Dastardly attack'

"I have in my role as a councillor been trying to establish a police presence in both the Protestant and Catholic districts of my constituency.

"I had worked with community and religious leaders to establish a police clinic in Rathcoole.

"That is the sole and direct reason."

Police are continuing their investigation and the car was taken away for futher examination.

The attack was condemned by Ulster Unionist Party assembly member Ken Robinson.

"This is an assault on the democratic process itself and cannot be tolerated," he said

The Newtownabbey councillor added: "I am sure all of my fellow councillors will want to join with me in condemning this dastardly attack upon our colleague and his family."

Meanwhile, a security alert at the car park of a community centre in north Belfast has ended.

Army technical experts were called to the Everton Complex on the Ardoyne Road and declared the incident a hoax.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC NI's Karen Atkinson:
"Councillor Langhammer was about to take his children to school when he made the discovery"
See also:

12 Jun 02 | N Ireland
26 Oct 01 | N Ireland
18 Jul 01 | N Ireland
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